Connecticut

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Titlesort descending Summary
FRITTS v. NEW YORK & N. E. R. CO.


Plaintiff's action results from defendant's alleged negligence in blowing the train whistle in a excessive manner such that it cause plaintiff's horses to run away with the plaintiff's carriage. There was judgment for plaintiff in a less sum than he thought he was entitled to, and both parties appeal. In reversing the lower court's decision, this court found that the lessened market value of the horses in consequence of the runaway was a proximate and legitimate element of damage.

Giacalone v. Housing Authority of Town of Wallingford


In this Connecticut case, a tenant, who was bitten by a neighbor's dog, brought a common law negligence action against the landlord, the housing authority of the town of Wallingford. The tenant then appealed after the lower court granted the landlord's motion to strike the complaint. On appeal, this Court held that the tenant properly stated a claim under common law negligence against the landlord. Relying on



Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church, 286 Conn. 152, 943 A.2d 391 (2008)



, the court concluded that a common-law negligence action brought against a landlord in a dog bite case should not be striken simply because the landlord was the the owner or keeper of the dog.

Housing Authority of the City of New London v. Tarrant


A mother renting housing alleged that her son was "mentally challenged" and required the companionship of a dog pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The court rejected the tenant's allegations that her son had a qualifying mental disability, reasoning that the son received high marks in school prior to the commencing of the eviction proceedings. The court held that without evidence of a mental or physical disability, no reasonable accommodation is required.

Liotta v. Segur


In this unreported Connecticut case, a dog owner sued a groomer for negligent infliction of emotional distress, alleging that the groomer negligently handled her very large dog when he removed it from her vehicle with “excessive force.” This resulted in a leg fracture, that, after lengthy and expensive care, ultimately resulted in the dog's euthanization. The court held that plaintiff failed to adequately plead a case for negligent infliction of emotional distress, but said in

dicta

that the results might be different for a pet owner who proves


intentional


infliction of emotional distress. Motion for summary judgment as against plaintiff's count two is granted.

Mann v. Regan


The plaintiff (Mann) brought this action to recover damages for injuries she sustained to her face when she was bitten by a dog owned by the defendant (Regan). The incident occurred when the defendant’s dog was being cared for by the plaintiff at her house while the defendant traveled out of state. With regard to defendant's tacit admission challenge, this court found that defendant’s silence in response to her daughter’s statement, “Well, mom, you know he bit you,” was within the trial court’s discretion to admit as a hearsay exception. As to the jury instructions, this court was not persuaded that there is a meaningful distinction between the words “vicious” and “dangerous” as used in the context of an action stemming from a dog bite.

Miller v. Dep't of Agric. The Plaintiff, Kim Miller, argued “a severe deprivation” of her rights when the Superior Court dismissed her appeal to prevent her dogs from being euthanized. Miller owned two Rottweiler dogs that attacked the victim Cynthia Reed, causing injuries to Reed's head, the back of her neck, and her back. An animal control officer issued two disposal orders to euthanize Miller’s dogs. The Defendant, Connecticut Department of Agriculture, then affirmed the orders and Miller appealed. The Superior Court also dismissed the appeal, and Miller appealed further to the Appellate Court of Connecticut. Here, Miller argues, among other things, that her Sixth Amendment rights to confront witnesses were violated when witnesses were not available for cross-examination. Plaintiff Miller also claims that there were procedural violations in the initial hearing because of lack of written rules that applied to dog disposal orders and claimed error when the hearing officer acted acted arbitrarily and capriciously by “interject[ing] his opinion” while questioning a witness. The Appellate Court held that: (1) the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA) did not preclude the admission of statements from the victim and an eyewitness, even though the victim and witness did not testify at the hearing. The court reasoned that in administrative proceedings under the UAPA, evidence is not inadmissible solely because it constitutes hearsay, as long as the evidence is reliable and probative. Additionally, a party to an administrative proceeding under the UAPA is not required to call any particular witness. (2) A dog owner's appeal of disposal orders for a biting animal is not a criminal prosecution that invokes Sixth Amendment protections. The court reasoned that the issuance of a disposal order does not, by itself, trigger the imposition of a fine or prison term on the owner. Rather, by obviating the threat that dangerous animals pose to the public, the provision is remedial and civil in nature. The judgment of the trial court dismissing the plaintiff's appeal was affirmed.
Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. ex rel. Beulah v. R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. In this case the petitioner, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc., sought a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of three elephants, Beulah, Minnie, and Karen, which are owned by the respondents, R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. and William R. Commerford, as president of R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. The issue was whether the court should grant the petition for writ of habeas corpus because the elephants are “persons” entitled to liberty and equality for the purposes of habeas corpus. The court denied the petition on the ground that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (because the plaintiffs lacked standing) and the petition was wholly frivolous on its face in legal terms (elephants are not "persons" according to the court). The court he court dismissed the petition for writ of habeas, but pointed to the state's anti-cruelty laws "as a potential alternative method of ensuring the well-being of any animal."
Overview of Connecticut Great Ape Laws
Presidential Village, LLC v. Phillips In this case, a landlord brought a summary process action against a tenant who lived in the federally subsidized apartment, based on tenant's keeping of “emotional support dog” in violation of a pet restriction clause in the tenant's lease. The trial court entered judgment in favor of tenant, based on equity, and the landlord appealed. The appeal was transferred to the Supreme Court of Connecticut. The Court held that: 1) appeal was not rendered moot by landlord's commencement of second summary process action against tenant, which was dismissed; 2) trial court could not rely on “spirit” of Department of Housing and Urban Development in exercising equitable discretion to enter judgment in favor of tenant; 3) trial court abused its discretion in applying doctrine of equitable nonforfeiture; and 4) summary process action was “civil action” to which medical treatment report exception to hearsay rule could be applied to allow for admission of letter from physician and social worker of tenant's niece concerning dog's benefit to niece. Reversed and remanded.
State ex rel. Griffin v. Thirteen Horses


Defendant's horses were seized on December 14, 2005 pursuant to a search and seizure warrant signed by the court. The warrant was sought, in part, on affidavits that alleged possible violations of the Cruelty to Animals statutory provisions. Defendant Rowley filed the instant motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction because the state has failed to comply with the provisions of § 22-329a and because the search and seizure warrant is invalid. Specifically, defendant maintains that the phrase in subsection (a) authorizing the chief animal control officer to "lawfully take charge of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated" merely allows the officer to enter the owner's property to care for the animal, but does not authorize seizure of the animal without a prior judicial determination. This court rejected Rowley's interpretation of the phrase "lawfully take charge." The court found that, as a practical matter, it is inconceivable that animal control officers, having found animals that are neglected or cruelly treated, would then leave them at the property.

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